HESTA, a member of Industry Super Australia, has invested $19 million in Tasmania’s Korongee village, an urban development for those living with dementia.
The super fund has invested in the village through its Social Impact Investment Trust, which seeks to find investment opportunities to deliver market returns whilst also positively impacting communities.
HESTA CEO Debby Blakely said the investment was reflective on the fund’s focus on seeking out worthwhile investment opportunities that also provide a social impact.
“We focus on making a real difference to the financial future of every member and, in the process, having a positive impact on the world into which they will retire,” Ms Blakey said.
“To deliver this we think and act holistically about how we achieve sustainable investment returns, while contributing to a healthier society and planet.”
The social impacts
She said she hoped the act would inspire other super funds to follow suit and invest in opportunities that reap capital returns and address social issues.
“Even relatively small allocations to impact investing from funds in Australia’s $2.7 trillion superannuation industry can make a huge difference,” Ms Blakey said.
The village, the first of its kind in Australia, will be shaped as a typical Australian cul-de-sac, with 12 eight-bedroom houses, a café, supermarket, beauty salon and gardens.
HESTA CEO Debby Blakely said the village represents the need for innovation in dementia care across Australia, as the disease is currently the second biggest cause of death for Australians and the largest cause of disability for those aged 65 and above.
“The demand for dementia care across the nation is outstripping supply,” Ms Blakely said.
“Korongee will help address the big social challenge of dementia, as well as create jobs and opportunities for our members who work in health and community services.”
The design for Korongee was based on leading international and local examples of care facilities that offer independence and stability to dementia patients who can no longer live at home.
Lucy O’Flaherty, CEO of Glenview, the not-for-profit aged care provider that has partnered with HESTA on the project, said:
“Residents at Korongee will live in small houses with others whose values they share. All the homes are being built with dementia design principals throughout, so a sense of everyday normality is much easier to maintain.”
The development is in partnership with the Commonwealth Government and Social Venture Australia, who manage HESTA's $70 million trust, and will be completed in late 2019.